03/24/2003 1:00AM

Workout too fast for Carson Hollow?


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Fresh off a victory in last Saturday's Cicada Stakes with Cyber Secret, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. has now turned his attention to this Saturday's $150,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap at Aqueduct in which he will run Carson Hollow.

Sunday, Carson Hollow blitzed five furlongs in 58.41 seconds over Aqueduct's main track, working in company with two other Dutrow-trained horses. It was easily the fastest of 17 workouts of the morning. Perhaps too fast.

"I'm going to take it easy with her the rest of the week because I believe she may have worked a little too good,'' Dutrow said Monday morning in his Aqueduct barn office. "She didn't eat up everything.''

Still, Dutrow said he believes there is enough time for Carson Hollow to rebound from the quick work. And, he doesn't see the competition as brutally tough, even with defending Distaff winner Raging Fever among the probable starters.

"If she runs the way she can, she's supposed to be real tough to beat,'' Dutrow said of Carson Hollow.

Carson Hollow will be making her second start of the year in the Distaff. She comes off a second-place finish to Xtra Heat in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap last month at Laurel Park. Dutrow said he can't make a true assessment of Carson Hollow's performance that day because he couldn't see the race through the thick fog that enveloped the track.

"The only thing I could see is that the jock took her real wide down the backside and right away she was back down on the rail,'' said Dutrow, who used Kent Desormeaux in the Barbara Fritchie. "She came running down the lane though."

Carson Hollow will be without her regular rider, John Velazquez, for the second straight race. Velazquez is scheduled to ride Harlan's Holiday in Saturday's Dubai World Cup. Dutrow said he has a rider picked out for Carson Hollow, but declined to name him.

Raging Fever, who has not run since finishing third in last year's First Flight Handicap over this track Oct. 26, worked a bullet five furlongs Sunday in 1:00.12. Others pointing to the Distaff include A.P. Andie, Bonefide Reason, Outstanding Info, and Saskya.

Volponi sharp in second move of year

Breeders' Cup Classic winner Volponi flashed his competitive juices Monday morning when he picked up some unplanned company over Belmont Park's training track and went four furlongs in 47.04 seconds in just his second workout of the year.

According to Phil Johnson, trainer of Volponi, a horse trained by John Hertler came up inside of Volponi as he was breaking off under jockey Jean-Luc Samyn. The horse ran with Volponi for about a sixteenth of a mile before Volponi spurted away. Johnson said he timed Volponi galloping out in 1:00.

"He outran that horse without being asked,'' Johnson said. "Jean-Luc just went about his business. If that horse would have stayed with him, I would have tried to buy him from John.''

Johnson said the quick work was not a big deal and that he was pleased to see Volponi gulp down two buckets of water back at the barn.

Johnson said he hopes to get a race into Volponi at the end of April or beginning of May and then point to a race like the Brooklyn Handicap June 14 at Belmont.

Wonderful Prospect needs hot pace

After winning Saturday's Lane's End Stakes at Turfway with New York Hero and a Sunday allowance race with the once-promising Lord ofthe Thunder, trainer Jennifer Pedersen will try to continue her winning ways Wednesday when she sends out Wonderful Prospect in a high-priced claiming race at Aqueduct.

Wonderful Prospect has won his last two starts on a fast track and could be the beneficiary of an anticipated hot pace in this seven-furlong race for $75,000-100,000 claimers.

The horse to beat is Esteemed Friend, the 9-year-old gelding who won the last two high-priced claimers in which he ran.

Esteemed Friend is coming out of a fourth-place finish in a classified allowance race in which the winner, Captain Red, set an inner track record of 1:07.93 for six furlongs.